daily wine picks

Less than $15

Dec. 28, 2000: WOLF BLASS Cabernet Sauvignon South Australia Yellow Label 1998 (89 points, $12)

Among the many values from Australia is this impressive Cabernet. It's ripe in character and distinctive for the mint and floral notes running through its jazzy raspberry and currant flavors. All linger effortlessly on the lithe finish. Best from 2002 thr —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 16, 2000: WYNDHAM ESTATE Chardonnay South Eastern Australia Bin 222 1999 (85 points, $9)

Here's a not-to-be-missed deal in Chardonnay. This Australian version is crisp and lemony in character, with pretty tropical overtones to the citrusy flavors at the core. Drink now. 40,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 13, 2000: D'ARENBERG Grenache McLaren Vale Red Ochre 1998 (86 points, $9)

This appealing and affordable Aussie Grenache is bright and jazzy in style, emphasizing tasty mulberry and cherry flavors on a firm frame, finishing with fine-grained tannins. Lively enough to gain with some cellaring. Drink now through 2004. 10,000 cases —Harvey Steiman

Dec. 08, 2000: MICHELE CHIARLO Barbera d\'Asti 1998 (87 points, $12)

Here's a seriously good Barbera, and a great value, too. Balanced and pretty, it's an aromatic red, with citrus and plum character. Medium-bodied, with soft tannins and a succulent, fruity aftertaste. Drink now through 2003. 30,000 cases made. —James Suckling

Dec. 04, 2000: MCPHERSON Shiraz South Eastern Australia 1999 (84 points, $8)

A fresh and fruity rendition of Australia's signature grape, at a painless price, this quaffable Shiraz serves up appealing blackberry and blueberry flavors on a supple frame. Drink now. 100,000 cases made. —Harvey Steiman

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